Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday. They currently have $3.50 price target on the specialty retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Office Depot’s focus on business operating model, growth prospects and omni-channel capabilities have led the stock to gain and outpace the industry in the past three months. Strategic endeavors, including strengthening of core business and expansion of service and subscription offerings aided the top line growth during second-quarter 2018 that also beat the consensus mark for the fourth time in a row. Although bottom line came a penny ahead of the estimate, it continued to decline year over year. Nonetheless, management maintained its full year view. The company is trying all means to give itself a complete makeover in an environment where demand for office products (paper-based) has shrunk due to technological advancements. Moreover, soft comps run in Retail division also remains a concern. Nevertheless, management is focusing on marketing, advertising and other growth-related investments but at the cost of margins in the short run.”

Several other analysts have also weighed in on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Office Depot from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. BidaskClub upgraded Office Depot from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, May 14th. Bank of America restated a buy rating and issued a $4.00 price objective on shares of Office Depot in a report on Tuesday, August 7th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group restated a market perform rating on shares of Office Depot in a report on Wednesday, May 16th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $3.88.

Office Depot traded down $0.02, reaching $2.97, during trading on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports. 52,274 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,297,474. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a current ratio of 1.38. Office Depot has a 1-year low of $2.00 and a 1-year high of $4.65. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.66 billion, a PE ratio of 6.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.50 and a beta of 2.54.

Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 7th. The specialty retailer reported $0.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.01. Office Depot had a return on equity of 9.20% and a net margin of 0.91%. The company had revenue of $2.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.61 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.06 EPS. equities research analysts predict that Office Depot will post 0.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.025 per share. This represents a $0.10 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.37%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 23rd. Office Depot’s dividend payout ratio is 22.22%.

In related news, CFO Joseph T. Lower bought 20,000 shares of Office Depot stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 30th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $2.39 per share, with a total value of $47,800.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief financial officer now directly owns 872,552 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,085,399.28. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Joseph Vassalluzzo bought 58,800 shares of Office Depot stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 4th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $2.55 per share, with a total value of $149,940.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chairman now owns 143,834 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $366,776.70. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have bought 88,800 shares of company stock valued at $221,640. 2.18% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Office Depot by 34.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 72,728,081 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $185,458,000 after buying an additional 18,466,409 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Office Depot by 12.1% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 42,881,014 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $109,349,000 after buying an additional 4,618,163 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in Office Depot by 5.7% during the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 12,835,911 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $27,598,000 after buying an additional 686,633 shares during the period. Towle & Co. raised its position in Office Depot by 7.1% during the second quarter. Towle & Co. now owns 12,067,578 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $30,772,000 after buying an additional 795,418 shares during the period. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC raised its position in Office Depot by 557.0% during the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 10,316,418 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $26,307,000 after buying an additional 8,746,140 shares during the period. 84.53% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Office Depot

Office Depot, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides various products and services. It operates in three divisions: Retail, Business Solutions, and CompuCom. The Retail division operates retail stores, which offer office supplies; technology products and solutions; business machines and related supplies; print, cleaning, breakroom, and facilities products; and office furniture in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.

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